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Streaking Padres top Braves, 5-4
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ATLANTA — Ryan Ludwick had an RBI single in the three-run seventh, Heath Bell struggled to earn a fourth straight save and the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Tuesday night for their season-high fourth consecutive victory.

The Padres haven't won four consecutive games since they had a five-game streak last Aug. 15-19. They also took a series against the Braves for just the second time in the last 13 tries.

Ludwick, who went 4 for 5, has hit safely in 15 of 18 games, raising his batting average 77 points to .258 since May 10. He finished the month with 23 RBIs.

Bell survived a tough ninth to earn his 14th in 15 chances. He retired pinch-hitter Joe Mather on foul popup before walking walked Jordan Schafer and getting Martin Prado to fly out before Chipper Jones' RBI single scored Schafer from second.

Bell forced Brian McCann to fly out to end it, marking the third time in his career, and first since April 16-19, 2009, that he got a save in four straight games.

Mat Latos (3-6) allowed five hits and two runs with four walks and seven strikeouts in six innings.

San Diego, which finished with 14 hits, took a 5-2 lead in the seventh with RBI singles off rookie reliever Cory Gearrin from Chris Denorfia, Ludwick and Jorge Cantu.

Denforia went 3 for 5 and scored two runs.

San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI double from Chase Headley that scored Jason Bartlett from first.

Freddie Freeman put the Braves ahead 2-1 with a two-run double that scored Brian McCann from second and Eric Hinske from first.

Mike Minor (0-2) couldn't hold a one-run lead in the fourth. Denorfia led off with a double, moved to third on Bartlett's single and scored to make it 2-2 on Headley's double-play groundout.

Minor faced one batter in the seventh, walking leadoff pinch-hitter Eric Patterson before Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez brought in Gearrin.

In six innings, Minor allowed eight hits and three runs with three walks and four strikeouts.

Jones followed in the Braves' seventh with an RBI single off San Diego's first reliever, Luke Gregorson, to make it 5-3. Left-hander Cory Luebke recorded the third out with a three-pitch strikeout of Brian McCann.

Minor, who was recalled May 25 for a spot start as RHP Tim Hudson recovered from lower back discomfort, dropped to 0-3 with a 7.23 ERA in his last seven starts.

Freeman went 3 for 4. He and Jones were the only Braves with more than one hit.

Notes: Padres CF Cameron Maybin underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage in his right knee. He was available to pinch-hit but wasn't needed. ... Slumping Braves 2B Dan Uggla, whose average dropped to .178 in Monday's loss, was held out of the lineup. He pinch-ran for Jones in the ninth. ... Minor's first career hit in the third, erased by Schafer's double-play groundout. ... Prado ended a 19-game hitting streak at Turner Field, going 0 for 4.

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